Its Open Time... 5 Ways to do your Best

The CrossFit Open – How to prepare for your best Open yet!

So it’s that time of year again where every man and his dog emerge from their “boxes” (…seriously, why don’t we just call them gyms?) and start preparing for the CrossFit Open.

What is ‘the Open’ you say? Good question, glad you asked. The CrossFit Open is the world's premier test of fitness. Since 2011, this five-week, five-workout, online competition has ranked the fitness of thousands of competitors worldwide.

Held in CrossFit affiliates and garage gyms all over the world, the Open is designed to be accessible to all athletes. Workouts, are released online each Friday and athletes have until the following Monday to successfully submit their scores online. Lucky for us it all kicks off on February 25th 2016!

Whether you’re pushing for Regionals, trying to improve on last year’s score, or simply trying it for the first time, the Open has something to suit everyone. There are now numerous categories in which to enter including the teen division, masters, scaled and advanced/open.

The great thing about the Open, and arguably CrossFit in general, is that it brings the cult community together for 5 glorious weeks!

For those of us who are scaling, still mastering the movements, or just doing it for a bit of fun, I know what you’re thinking… “Do I have to give up my Friday night and weekend beers!?”… The answer (thankfully) is a resounding no!

Although the Open caters for the serious athletes, it is a great chance for you to meet the other members of the gym, come and cheer them on, and in return be cheered on. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to checkout some of the top dogs strut their stuff.

For those of you pushing for a shot at regionals or looking to be competitive this year, here are my top 5 tips for you:

1.     Don’t come into the Open over-trained

An over-trained athlete is a useless athlete. You need to be prepared, well rested and ensure you’re not overtraining in the lead up to each Open wod.

You’ve done the hard yards already. Be happy with what you’ve achieved. There is very little to be gained from long, extra sessions hoping to magically add 20kg onto your snatch the day before. (It’d be nice though… am I right!)

2.     Rest / Active recovery

 Leading on from my previous point, in addition to ensuring you’re not over-training you need to make sure your rest and recovery ratios are on point. For each week you want to be in the best possible condition both mentally and physically.

Make sure you dial in the active recovery the day or two before the Open wod is released and try to incorporate a rest day into your week. Get your nutrition and supplements sorted for before, during and after your workouts as well as hydrating and getting plenty of sleep so you feel prepared to hit those Open workouts at 110%.


3.     Master the basics

It’s likely you’ve done the Open before and know what movements await you. Some of these might include double-unders, wall-balls, burpees, KB swings and box jumps. By now, these movements should almost be second nature to you, but it’s wise to still practice these movements in order to build those solid neural pathways. 

Try incorporating these into your daily warm-ups and over the course of the week, you’re likely to have covered all bases leaving no excuses come Open time!


4.     Practice your weaknesses

 Struggle with handstand pushups? Then get your ass upside down.

Can’t string muscle-ups together? Work on your ring strength and transition technique.

We all have weaknesses or areas we can improve. Your preparation for the Open is the perfect time to address some of these weaknesses by investing more time in the movements that you’re uncomfortable with.

Through improving your confidence and efficiency with these movements, you’ll help avoid fatigue and injury and subsequently increase your chances of success.


5.     Have fun

Above all else, try to stay calm, relaxed and embrace the CrossFit Open. Be confident and determined, but don’t work yourself up so much that you don’t enjoy the experience.

At the end of the day, the Open should be about testing your abilities and being proud of how far you’ve come since last year. Regardless of your ranking, be grateful of the awesome community you are a part of and enjoy the ride!

Try to keep the above tips in mind when preparing for the Open and I’m sure you’ll be on your way to your most successful Open yet!

Best of luck to all of the CrossFit Creature members who are competing in this year’s CrossFit Open, I look forward to cheering you on! 

Article By Jake Henkel – 16 Feb 2016